There have been great strides in the automotive industry to reduce carbon emissions and improve fuel efficiency so as to make cars less abusive of the environment. In 2011, we have seen an influx of relatively eco friendly cars that combine practicality with style and luxury to suit almost anyone’s taste.
When deciding which eco friendly cars stand out above the rest, there are certain factors that need to be considered. A vehicle’s fuel efficiency goes hand and hand with its carbon emissions and overall environmental performance, but it’s important to also consider which vehicles are practical in size and what standard features are most convenient.
While the Toyota Prius has held the market for the most eco friendly car throughout the last 5 years, it seems it now has some steep competition. With the recent rash of recalls from Toyota, it seems that this little hybrid powerhouse will be on standby with consumers until the company works out all of the kinks. The addition of a solar powered moon roof in more recent models, which is an optional feature, to power the air conditioning system in the car is a nice feature–but will this really be enough to restore confidence in Toyota, as a company?
Voted Motor Trend’s 2011 Car of the Year, the Chevrolet Volt is a gas/electric hybrid that packs a whopping 149 horsepower. Leaving Prius in the dust by over 50 horsepower, the Volt still manages to be highly fuel efficient and houses a slew of standard features. This powerful, yet thoughtful eco friendly car is earning honors for its solid construction and swift ‘get up and go’ feel.
As the only full sized sedan on this list, the Ford Fusion Hybrid stands out above the rest. With 41 miles per gallon fuel rating and the most affordable price tag, the Fusion Hybrid is an excellent choice. The Ford company has come a long way over the last few years and has led the pack of American automobile manufacturers in making eco friendly cars. The Fusion Hybrid boasts the highest projected resale value out of all the hybrid vehicles available in its class and comes loaded with features, like the hands-free ‘sync’ system and a fuel efficiency monitor built into the dashboard.
The year 2011 has seen some great innovations and technological advances in eco friendly cars. With so many options to choose from, there is something for every taste and practical need. Taking the time to thoroughly research your decision can help you decide which eco cars are right for your specific needs. Don’t forget to take your top favorites out for a test drive and even consider renting one for a week from your local dealership before making your final decision.